Donald Trump, Charlottesville and Chubby Checker

(KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)

In a recent post I mentioned how the video from Charlottesville was a bit grainy you might mistake for something from the sixties. Lately one line of a Chubby Checker song, also from the sixties, has been stuck in my head. As I watch the news in the US again and again this snippet of lyric pops into my mind. It has nothing to do with twisting, a word that would make Checker a rich man over the years and one that could certainly be applied to President Trump’s take on history as well as current events.

He has an ability to twist facts and images to his liking

He has an ability to twist facts and images to his liking. But people are not fools; looking at the coverage of the heinous events over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia it is clear that there was a group of armed Nazi thugs and a group of protesters. The fault falls on one side – the Nazis – and one side only. No amount of twisting will change that.

What ignited this riot was the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee … That Lee is on a horse did not bring to my mind the Checker song Pony Time.

What ignited this riot was the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The white supremacists and Nazis look to Lee as a hero, so they were spitting their vile racist epithets in protest if the statue’s removal. That Lee is on a horse did not bring to my mind the Checker song Pony Time.

No, the song came to me after the riots, after the murder of Heather Hayer, after two statements from Trump. While watching the ‘leader of the free world’ rant and rage in the lobby of his tower in New York, listening to him equate the protesters and the Nazis, levying equal amounts of blame to each side (in fact, placing the onus on the protesters who did not have a permit) is when the Checker lyric burned itself into my mind. The words come from his 1962 hit Limbo Rock and are ‘How low can you go?”.

Every time I have seen rebroadcasts of Trump’s hissy fit I can’t help but repeat that line to myself.

How low can you go?

My greatest fear with regards to Trump is that he is soon going to show just how low he can go.

Sad.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Charlottesville: Blood On The President’s Hands

Had the video been poorer in quality, a bit grainy, maybe even black and white, you might have assumed you were watching a history documentary on CNN last Saturday afternoon. Something about civil rights marches in the sixties. But no, the scenes of mayhem in the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia were live. It was enough to make one’s skin prickle with the fear that this will never end.

Had the video been poorer in quality, a bit grainy, maybe even black and white, you might have assumed you were watching a history documentary on CNN last Saturday afternoon.

As a group of white supremacists gathered to protest the removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee they were met by a group of opponents, including some wearing Black Lives Matter shirts which must have been like wearing targets. It did not take long before tensions elevated to the boiling point, leading to violent racist havoc, destruction, injury, and death.

Thank goodness for the president’s calming good words. He spoke from his vacation home and clearly pointed out that no white supremacy will be tolerated in the USA. His words were like a salve that cooled things in Virginia and made citizens remember why they had elected this man.

Oh no … wait a moment … that was just what should have happened. What actually did occur was perhaps the most non-presidential thing Trump has done. He did indeed address the violence, condemning it yet stating undoubtedly that the problem came from all sides. Rather than call out the white supremacists as the problem, he chose to group all the protesters into one big mass. How about tossing a little gasoline on that fire Mr. President?

It was incumbent upon the president to differentiate and lay the blame where it belonged. Why will he, 48-hours later, still not do this? Does he not want to upset his base?

But that’s not the case, some of those present were, by all accounts, merely protesting the well-armed supremacists. It was incumbent upon the president to differentiate and lay the blame where it belonged. Why will he, 48-hours later, still not do this? Does he not want to upset his base?

He is scheduled to talk today, but frankly it is too late. Even if he points the finger of blame at the white supremacists now, it will not excuse his refusal to do so immediately.

Shame on Donald Trump

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Partner, Pardner and Pardoner

Back when western movies featured hard men and pretty lasses diction was none too important. John Wayne, the Duke himself, has been oft quoted mumbling something along the lines of “C’mon pardner” as he called his buddy to ride off into the sunset. Of course he was actually referring to his pal as his partner. But it sounded tougher to pronounce it pardner.

Today, with so many same-sex marriages and relationships, the term partner has taken on a whole different meaning. One I doubt John would have liked.

But fear not, the concept of a pardner still exists, in fact the White House is home to a man who has sought legal advice on the possibility of being able to pardon himself. I think that makes President Trump the Pardoner in Chief, but because he’s a tough guy I assume he’ll refer to himself as the Pardner in Chief!!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Symphony of the Absurd at the White House

Symphony: something regarded, typically favourably, as a composition of different elements.

The current occupants of the White House have been presenting an almost daily symphony of discord, asininity,  and moronic half-witted actions!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Build The Wall – Around The White House

There used to be a phrase that went something like ‘Oh no, there goes the neighbourhood’. No doubt steeped in racism, as a reaction to the first Black family to move into a white community and therefore cause trouble and push down house prices, the saying has taken on a more comical tone with time.

I have a hunch that there are more than a few people in the US who feel the same way but on a much grander scale given the relatively new occupants of the White House.

It’s not a campy sitcom, but the administration of the United States of America. Sadly the current residents of this most famous of houses, and their cohorts have ruined the neighbourhood, as it were.

They say that good fences make good neighbours. Perhaps one of the most irksome characteristics of bad neighbours is their penchant for washing their dirty laundry in public. The latest addition to the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW version of the Clampetts, Anthony Scaramucci, known affectionately as Mooch, has demonstrated that his modus operandi involves shaking things up, causing an uproar, often by issuing derogatory, shallow remarks about fellow ‘family’ members on social media.

But these folks aren’t just another family, and this not just another house. It’s the White House and Mooch is apparently the president’s new man. It’s not a campy sitcom, but the administration of the United States of America. Sadly the current residents of this most famous of houses, and their cohorts have ruined the neighbourhood, as it were.

Not the one planned for along the US Mexico border, but a high wall around the White House.

But I have no doubt that the proud tradition of strength and leadership, caring and fairness, balance and kindness can be restored to this house in time. Just not with these inhabitants.

Of course in the interim, to shield the population and the world from the infantile shenanigans that have become daily features, a wall can be built. Not the one planned for along the US Mexico border, but a high wall around the White House.

 

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Montreal May 17, 2042

With so much excitement brewing this summer regarding Montreal’s 375th anniversary I thought it might be interesting to gaze into a crystal ball and get an idea of what our fair city may look like twenty-five years from now when, in 2042, we mark our 400th. Below is an article from The Gazette of May 17, 2042 (sadly but not surprisingly, available online only).

(Montreal, May 17, 2042) On this 400th anniversary of Montreal, the city council proudly and officially adopted a motion to change the name of the downtown Ville Marie borough to “Jazz” in recognition of the fact that the corporate entity known as the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, marking its 63rd edition this year, now owns more than 54% of the commercial real estate in the borough. However, the vote in council was close, as many considered a second option, to change the name to Sergakis, after the entrepreneur, now in his nineties, who owns the other 46% of the properties.

With so many terraces and Bixi stations, the number of available parking spots not buried is almost nil, leaving motorists and driver-less cars with no alternative but to take their business to the suburbs.

Montreal is living up to its reputation as a pedestrian and bike-friendly city. Council has been lauded by many cycling associations from around the world for clearing the downtown core of essentially all motorized vehicles. This was achieved serendipitously through the issuance of permits for the vast proliferation of street-sidewalk straddling restaurant and bar terraces which reduced several main arteries, including Ste. Catherine and de Maisonneuve, to one narrow lane of traffic. Unfortunately, most of these terraces, once iconic symbols of the city’s joie de vivre, sit empty. With so many terraces and Bixi stations, the number of available parking spots not buried is almost nil, leaving motorists and driver-less cars with no alternative but to take their business to the suburbs.

Actual Cohen mural

The Montreal Canadiens continue to sell-out every home game, as they pursue that elusive 25th Stanley Cup. This year the team made it to the third round of the playoffs only to fall short, going down four games to three to the Calais Burghers, winners of the NHL’s European conference. Speaking in French, English, and Arabic, Habs head coach Abdul Abboud stated, “We need to make a few off-season tweaks and we will come back stronger”.

A late-game home run into the right-field bleachers at Molson Jackie Robinson Stadium crushed all hopes of a Series appearance.

Montreal sports fans did have something to cheer about as the Expos, celebrating the tenth year since returning to the city, came within one pitch of advancing to the North American Series (once inaccurately called the World Series). A late-game home run into the right-field bleachers at Molson Jackie Robinson Stadium crushed all hopes of a Series appearance. A number of older fans felt sadness and a strange sense of deja vu when LA Dodgers’ Freddy Friday played long ball to dash the Expos’ chances.

The final phase of the Turcot interchange overhaul is expected to be completed by year’s end. The work has taken significantly longer than was originally planned some thirty years ago due to several inquiries and commissions that have resulted in a total absence of political corruption. Contractors blame a lack of hands to be greased, and a dearth of kickback recipients for the lagging work.

Proposed Cohen Mural on Crescent Street

The city and its police force are still at loggerheads over pension reform. Council recently adopted new camouflage police uniforms thereby provoking the union to order its members to wear black pants in protest.

And perhaps Council’s most popular action was to pass a motion that will radically alter the number of construction cones in the city. Henceforth only streets without resurfacing, water main repairs, or a festival will be marked by the once ubiquitous orange cones.

The secularization of the city continued with the removal of the cross from Mount Royal.  A new thirty-metre tall illuminated statue of Leonard Cohen has been installed on the same site, bringing the number of Cohen tributes, including schools, Metro stations, murals, streets, libraries, and parks to 163.

And perhaps Council’s most popular action was to pass a motion that will radically alter the number of construction cones in the city. Henceforth only streets without resurfacing, water main repairs, or a festival will be marked by the once ubiquitous orange cones.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

 

 

Kellyanne Conway’s CNN Caper

This morning I watched Counselor to President Trump Kellyanne Conway ramble on for over an hour on CNN. They should have changed the name to Conway Nonsense Network for the segment. It was not an interview, although Chris Cuomo did address numerous questions to  Conway, more of an exercise in avoidance and obfuscation on her part.

Conway’s caper this morning was nothing short of laughing up her sleeve – and by extension the Trump administration’s sleeve – at the U.S. electorate.

As a kid I used to hate it when a classmate was making a fool of himself; I would feel embarrassed for them. That same sense of unease was what I experienced today watching the ever-grinning Conway.

It is not uncommon for political spokespersons to nuance their replies to touchy questions. Conway choose to ignore them entirely only to later claim she answered them. It seems to me that the people of the United States deserve to have straight answers to straight questions from any spokesperson, Democrat, Republican or Independent.

Conway’s caper this morning was nothing short of laughing up her sleeve – and by extension the Trump administration’s sleeve – at the U.S. electorate. There was nothing nuanced about it, nothing shrewd or crafty about it. She merely responded to questions with questions or spoke about an entirely unrelated topic.

CNN must alter its approach to covering the Trump administration

No doubt exasperated, Cuomo reached a point when he allowed Conway to run on. Letting her pull out as much rope as she wanted to hang herself.

CNN must alter its approach to covering the Trump administration. Rather than pander to the White House for Conway to appear, the network should continue to cover the president but refuse to present her, or any other spokesperson without some sense that the person will not ignore questions and filibuster.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+